It’s been an eventful seven years since guitarist/vocalist Jonnie Russell, vocalist/keyboardist/guitarist Nathan Willett, bassist Matt Maust and drummer Matt Aveiro emerged from Russell’s Fullerton, Calif., apartment as Cold War Kids and began churning out a distinct blend of Indie Rock, Blues and Garage Soul. In that relatively brief span, CWK has released three albums (including the latest, Mine Is Yours, which came out back in January), eight EPs and 10 singles, opened for Death Cab for Cutie, played the Glastonbury Festival, recorded for four labels, relocated three times and fended off allegations that they’re a Christian band.
But, really, what does it matter that Cold War Kids members lived in three cities and the band has been affiliated with four labels? It also really shouldn’t matter that three of the band’s members attended an Evangelical Christian university, and that the band’s lyrical message sometimes navigates an obvious spiritual/philosophical path. There's a certain stigma to being branded a Christian band, and Cold War Kids have stated over and over that they do not adhere to the stated goals and aspirations of a typical Christian band.
What does matter is that the group’s music is deeply passionate, bristling with a soulful New Wave energy, like Keane if they’d been influenced by Talking Heads and more interested in guitars. Let’s not forget that more than a few bands have offered up a fairly pointed spiritual message (Sunny Day Real Estate, Vigilantes of Love, Pedro the Lion, a cultish underground group called U2) and not been worse for the wear as a result. So rest assured you won’t be called on to turn to a specific page in a dusty old hymnal at the Cold War Kids’ show in Covington this Friday.
Cold War Kids just want you to think, dance, pump your fist and repeat as necessary. What would Jesus do? Just that, brothers and sisters. Just that.
COLD WAR KIDS play Madison Theater Friday, Aug. 5 with guests A LULL and BELLE HISTOIRE. Buy tickets, check out performance times and get venue details here.